Carnival comes to police headquarters

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 2:39 p.m. July 26, 2019

Toronto Police headquarters’ courtyard came alive with the colours and sounds of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival celebration in a preview of what’s to come during the festival that culminates in a parade at Exhibition Grounds on August 3.

Two men in police uniforms stand among four women dressed in carnival costumes
Chief Mark Saunders and Supt. Dave Rydzik with carnival revelers Mohogany Brown (l), Nadelle Lewis, Bria Chance and Porsche Williams

Chief Mark Saunders said the annual festival, which started in 1967, represents inclusion.

“Anything that represents inclusion, we will be there if we are invited,” said the Chief.

This year’s Carnival theme is ‘Evolution: Past & Present’.

“The theme is about understanding the hardships, challenges and obstacles that we had to come through in the past to get to where we are at today,” added Saunders. “More importantly, it is good people that fought the fight to break down these barriers so we could get to where we are today. The other aspect of it is that you should seek to understand how we got here because our role is to figure where to move it to get to the next level. That is what we are celebrating today.”

A man in a police uniform stands among children dressed in carnival costumes
Chief Mark Saunders with some of the young revellers at the Toronto Police Carnival launch

In addition to the speakers that included the festival’s chief administrative officer Chris Alexander, Black Consultative Committee vice-chair Josette Jobe and mas band leader Jamaal Magloire, the Service’s celebration on July 26 featured Ole’ Time Carnival celebrating traditional stories and characters and a display of costumes that have evolved over the years.

“This is a unique opportunity to learn about the history of Carnival and its evolution,” said Toronto Police Services Board Chair Ken Jeffers

The Toronto Caribbean Carnival event celebrates the cultural heritage of people from the Caribbean and the spirit that they contribute to Canadian culture.

The Service, in partnership with community corporate partners including The Children's Breakfast Club, have been participating in this event since 1991. This participation includes a Toronto Police Service float in the Toronto Caribbean Carnival Parade as well as celebrations at the local Divisions.

View more photos in thePhoto Journal of the Kick-off event.

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